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Roadblock on expressway

The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway will miss its July 29,2009 deadline,according to a report drawn up by the consultancy that monitors its progress.

Written by Tanushree Roy Chowdhury | Gurgaon |
June 14, 2009 2:16:20 am

The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway will miss its July 29,2009 deadline,according to a report drawn up by the consultancy that monitors its progress.

Span Consultant Private Limited,appointed by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC),has said only 14.47 per cent of the work was completed by February 23 this year. The consultants look into the project’s progress,quality and design.

HSIIDC official A K Singla,looking after the project,put the figure a little higher but far from what it should be. He said: “Till April 30 this year,the construction was only 18.03 per cent complete.” This increased to 20 per cent at the May review.

The 135.65-kilometre expressway,coming up on a build-operate-transfer basis,is being constructed by the KMP Expressway Ltd—a consortium comprising infrastructure developers DSC Ltd,Hyderabad-based Madhucon Projects and UK-based Apollo Enterprises,the financial partner.

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Work began on July 31,2006 with a clear deadline of three years. However,Madhucon went to court seeking a stay over construction on grounds that it had been cheated by the other two companies in the contract. Proceedings at the Punjab and Haryana High Court delayed work but in June 2008,the Supreme Court ordered DSC Ltd to get on with it,Singla said. DSC is in charge of the project’s construction.

As of now,the company has requested the deadline be extended to July 2010,but the HSIIDC wants the project to be completed by the end of this year. Assistant General Manager of DSC Ltd R P Singh said: “We lost a lot of time when out partner went into litigation.”

However,sources in DSC said the company is in a bit of financial bother. The DSC official said: “Since the project was to be over by July this year,the eleven lead bankers financing it might not be interested in the extension. However,we have put in a fresh request and hope to mop up around Rs 400 crore from these banks.” The official also said the project cost has jumped from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 1,900 crore.

The project starts at kilometre 38.08 on NH-1 near Kundli and crosses NH-10 at Bahadurgarh,NH-8 near Manesar and then NH-2 near Palwal. Besides,the expressway,when completed,will help decongest traffic in the Capital before the Commonwealth Games. The concession period or the lease for the project is 23 years and 9 months.

The expressway will provide high-speed connectivity to northern Haryana with its southern districts,such as Sonepat,Jhajjar,Gurgaon and Faridabad. Additionally,it will facilitate the flow of traffic from west and south India towards Haryana,Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

It is an entry and exit controlled four-by-six lane project. It is supposed to have 220 major structures like road overbridges,grade separators,underpasses,cattle underpasses,etc which will alone cost approximately Rs 500 crore,confirmed Tapas Majumdar,AGM (structure),DSC in Manesar.

The expressway will be fenced on both sides and will have 10 toll plazas. The commuter will have to pay only at the exit point while alighting from the expressway. For light vehicles,the cost of travel will be 75 paisa per kilometre.

The priority stretch on this line is between Manesar and Palwal,to be completed before deadline. The stretch does not have any major structure.

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